Date published: March 22, 2022
Photo: Aidy Gleeson Senior
Darcy Maroske on a break
An exhausted Mayfield took to the pitch on Saturday 19 March to face Egremont Rangers; The resolve of coaches Sam Butterworth and Steve Woods had been tested in the days leading up to this one with players retiring, pulling out with injury and three players missing for the weekend.
They managed to form a team but had little chance of victory as the guys advanced to the NWML side. Both teams started strong and the defense was solid from both sets of players Shaun Hurley, Si Moore and James McDaid led the way. Cole Connolly put his side on the scoresheet with a successful try on a superb ball from Dec Sheridan. Connolly added the extras, 6 – 0.
Egremont was undeterred and started to take over the game but Mayfield’s defense were working hard and it took until the 20th minute before they managed to equalize after Mayfield again gave up the ball, 6 – 6 .
Within two minutes they had taken the lead after a speculative kick from the winger went wide, 6 – 10.
The home side responded well and regained the lead when Connolly set up new signing James Mulvany for a great score, Connolly also added the two, 12 – 10.
Mayfield then showed their inexperience as mistakes crept in, they lost the ball on the restart and struggled to keep the visitors out. A series of missed tackles saw Egremont cross the line for a converted try, 12 – 16.
Things got worse when Mayfield then conceded three penalties in a row resulting in a yellow card for Darcy Maroske. With a man down, Mayfield quickly conceded another try just before the half-time whistle, 12 – 20.
It felt like the end for Mayfield as heads rolled; knowing they would start the second half with a short man made it too far a task.
What happened in the dressing room, no one knows, but the turnaround was spectacular, as Matty ‘The Bull’ Brown ransacked the Egremont defense creating problem after problem for them. Mayfield cut the lead as James McDaid slotted into the corner with a smart kick from Connolly, Connolly converted, 18 – 20.
Mayfield’s lines were up and the crowd was right behind them now. Mulvany, Brown and Biggins resumed the effort and took practice after practice. Maroske and Moore combined in an excellent game to allow Lewis Butterworth to put his side back in front with another converted try from Connolly, 24 – 20.
Both teams were producing quality rugby now Ben Higginson, Jack Green and Luke Hartley all played significant roles in the fight back while Moore, Maroske and Connolly were a constant thorn in the side of the Egremont players. Rob Kershaw led the defense well, blocking them when under pressure, but they widened, allowing the opposing winger in for a converted score and the lead changed hands again, 24 – 26.
There were 20 minutes left and this game could have gone either way, the next score was vitally important and it went to Mayfield in the form of James McDaid after good work down the left, Connolly was sure to be on again the foot as he got two extra points, 30 – 26.
Mayfield now tasted blood and picked up the pace again, Egremont was flat and had nothing left in the tanks. Brown, Moore and Maroske kept tapping the line and the biggest joy of the day came when youngster Matty Brown shoved his way across the line for the game, trying again converted by Connolly, making it six out of six for the kicker. , 36 – 26 and the game was won.
Mayfield deserved this win – the way the boys performed was an absolute credit to the coaching staff, the lads on the pitch and the club as a whole.
Mayfield chairman Neil Ramsden was delighted with the win. He said: “This win and this performance is what’s going on at this club at the moment. We have the right people in the right places all working tirelessly, on and off the pitch. We were under fire today. today and a lot of the people had written us off but we didn’t sit down and complain no we got down to business and put out a performance like that I can’t praise the guys enough but that game is gone now and we’re looking forward to next week now. Train guys, prepare well, play well. Well done.”
Coach of the match was awarded by the Egremont coach and went to Darcy Maroske while match day sponsors MJ Kelly Builders chose Cole Connolly. They had to be pushed all the way by Si Moore whose second half was inspiring.